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Monday 30 March 2009


Another lovely weekend , and lots of jobs done , but not quite as many as we had hoped - the change in hour meant that Sunday was a write-off , we were late for football in the morning and then late for riding in the afternoon !

Dh put up a bit more new fencing in the birthing field , which I shall move the alpaca into at Easter ,I am leaving it as long as possible to get maximum new grass growth ! Kirsty is looking very well , but the tension is mounting ( on my side anyway) and everyone else is looking suitably large and healthy , which is great .

The house is coming along at a lick , and I am very pleased with what we see so far . Landscaping is going to take longer than I anticipated judging by how long it took me to turn one compost heap !

Saturday 28 March 2009

Recovering ...

I have recovered my composure about the hen and her chicks , having just been checking fields for grass growth and come across a pile of feathers , at least I know for definite( I had held a slightly romantic view that she may just appear one morning with her chicks fully grown and full of life ) and DH is not confined to the broody coop !

I am also recovering from a very successful quiz night at the school last night , which I helped to organise and thoroughly enjoyed , as did most of the other 75 participants ! Many of us are now recovering from a night of excess and I am off to do it all again tonight - except I know my limitations and have offered to drive !! I am not as young as I used to be and a bottle of wine takes too big a toll these days .

I have filled the incubator with 2 different colours of Brahma eggs and am now waiting for the excitement in 2.5 weeks to see how many hatch.The weather has been quite unpredictable - yesterday was sun , snow , sun , hail.... and so I have been on a tour to inspect the grass growth in the fields in preparation for moving alpaca around . DH is finishing new entrances to fields and I am going to have a great big bonfire and burn all the bits of scrub that are hanging around the place .

A busy afternoon , and then another busy night !

Thursday 26 March 2009

Sad and angry

I knew it was all going too well !

Last night DH ( strike that to H) forgot to close up my hen and her 6 chicks - this morning no sign . Mr Fox may well have had a good night , but I am not having a good day as a result ! I am really pretty hacked off , and there is nothing that can be done to put it right , and whilst I know it was just a hen it irritates me that a thoughtless act has resulted in their loss . I shall try not to go on about it , but I am miffed !

Monday 23 March 2009

So exciting !!

Everything is coming together at once !

Today I got an email from my friend and co-owner of Teifi Magic , to ask if I would like a couple of other studs to stand with me for the summer !! Yes please! She has offered me Teifi Dreamcatcher , who is a truly stunning half accoyo male , white , and just lovely ; and Suri Bozedown Bartholomew ( Barty ),

who is a fab dark fawn suri stud . I am so pleased , I was thinking about Barty for Riva anyway , but the timing would be tricky since I don't want to move her until she has had her cria , which isn't due until late June , and I will be visiting Sue to collect Magic in May . I was toying with doing all the journeys twice over but it is quite a long way , so to have Barty here is great , plus I can offer him and Dreamcatcher for stud services alongside Magic and West , so I have a beautiful stable of studs - black, white , dark fawn and a fawn suri too . At this moment my cup runneth over as we say in wales .

Plus , I have a dozen eggs coming my way ( courtesy of Royal Mail , pls be careful) which are 2 different colours of Brahma chickens . I am very excited about them too ! They are huge chickens , with the cockerels standing almost a metre in height , that's almost as big as DS #4! and I have buff Colombians and gold eggs for hatching .

What more can I say ...whee!

Sunday 15 March 2009

here they are !

here are the latest additions to our family :-

aren't they so cute ?! And no , she hasn't worked out that none of them are hers !

and here is our house , progressing nicely !

Beautiful weather this weekend means we have all ( animals included ) been sunning ourselves and revelling in the warmth . I have enquiries this weekend about alpacas for sale and also stud services - all good business I hope .

The girls are getting bigger and slightly less spritely , but enjoying the sun no less , and the pastures are beginning to green up .........

Thursday 12 March 2009


I have booked 2 weaners who will arrive in 4 to 5 weeks , and live out their happy little lives rooting around in a field . They are Oxford Sandy and Black piglets, which we find to have nice natures and taste delicious - what more could you want from a pig !?

chicks - sort of!

Well, we did get some hatching activity on Tuesday, and I spent all day from first light , popping out to see what was going on . I even had a friend who came to see the progress.It was so exciting ! Eventually one little chick hatched and I couldn't wait any longer so I gave the remaining eggs a little shake and got the dreaded glugging sound which indicates no chick. I gently cracked them one by one just in case I was wrong . 4 exploded with the most foul smell ( obviously they had fertilised and started to develop and then ...) and 2 weren't fertilised . I was disappointed but felt quite pleased with one little chick who was a Barnevelder . Next check of the day , and the clumsy hen had stood on the chick and it was quite dead ! 3 weeks of anticipation and ....nothing!

So i did what any self respecting chicken keeper does and bought 6 from somebody else , which had hatched that morning !1 is an exchequer leghorn , 3 are brown and stripey , so could be legbars or welsummers , and the last 1 is apricot and I hope is a buff orpington ... but time will tell. Anyway , the hen is proving to be a better mother to her adopted brood and they are very cute . I was tempted to try and pass them off as her original chicks for DH benefit ( he doesn't see the point of buying in more when some are due to hatch at school next week ) but Eliane was so shocked at this deceit that I came clean and he was pretty cool about it really.I shall take some pictures so you can see their development.

Oh , and I got my first 2 books for matings to Teifi Magic - the boy is set too work !!

Monday 9 March 2009

Ok , I want some sun !

I know it was fatal , but I had actually begun to believe that the spring was here- Oh no ! Yesterday we had the lot , sun throu' to snow all in one day. The animals can't make head nor tail of it and are getting quite confused - in the barn out of the barn , sunbathe or shelter from the snow , the hens are finding it hardest since they are not really very bright and routine is routine - no sooner have they worked out where to lay and where to scratch than it snows and they have to change plans , not easy for a bird with a brain the size of a pea, thou I do find it amusing to watch them trying to work out where their nesting box ' I'm sure it was here yesterday , but now it's just a pile of snow ??'

The alpaca are doing much better, althou having lost the nightly routine of retreating to the barn during the longer periods of snow , they are keener to rough it out during smaller flurries. The birthing paddock is nearly ready for them to move into , a few more days of good sun would see a really nice field of good grass which would be a fab start, you can almost see the grass growing and stopping " lovely and warm we should grow a bit more , Oh shit snow ..stop stop" but a couple of more weeks and then I shall move all the pregnant girls in , I'm really pleased that we didn't plan any cria for March 'cos it would worry me to death! Bozedown Kirsty is the first expected mum and is looking the size of a small house so may be close to her due date in mid-April , thou I did say that last time and she went 2 weeks over, I was a nervous wreck!

Boz Veronica is looking happier with life and we haven't had a recurrence of the tooth problem , and Athena is just the most beautiful animal with a lovely nature to match, it helps that she is black cos I love the colours .

The time for Blue Tongue vaccinating is fast approaching and I have ordered my vaccine - it truly is a terrible disease and if the summer is good it may well rear it's ugly head in the UK and I want to be sure my animals are protected ( sermon over).

The house is doing well , and some of my more anal friends cannot believe that I haven't chosen a kitchen or bathrooms or doors .....the list is long , but I truly haven't and i feel that maybe I should get on with it, but life is always so busy - with the school summer fair planning in full swing , animal jobs to do , and 4 kids , bathrooms have not really had a look in but I must do it soon so that the builders know where to put pipes and things.

Oh , and my broody hens eggs should start to hatch tomorrow if she has done a good job , so I will probably waste a large portion of tomorrow checking for chicks !

Thursday 5 March 2009


Just so you know I am doing a course on keeping bees - pretty interesting ( althou how the instructors cope with some of the ( frankly ) dullards who go on the course I do not know ) and far more complex than anticipated , anyhow I shall tell you more soon !

I'm back !!

AT LAST ! It really is a case of who you know , and it turns out I know somebody very helpful in BT , hardly had the matter been raised ( in passing , since I had no idea they were a BT bigwig ) than wheels began to turn , within 12 hours I had an engineer on my doorstep , and 48 hrs later my own personal adviser who will keep in contact until I a happy , AND at the same time BROADBAND is back . HURRAY ! It is too mind blowingly dull to explain in detail but the short version- they made a very simple situation very, very difficult until even they had no idea what was going on !

Well , now for some catch up photos . I shall start at the beginning and whiz through the last month or so

A mad clearing out when the snow arrived ensured that all the females had stable space and warm straw in which to shelter - luckily- since they didn't stray far from it for 9 days of snow !

For those of you who know us - here is #4 son in his borrowed ski suit , which was given to us 2 days before the snow and was worth it's weight in gold !Thanks Andriette .

I know ! its pink ! but by some amazing powers of persuasion we convinced him it was actually pale grey , and who cares it was free and he was the warmest of us all on sledging missions - and boy can he sledge !

Here is the house :-

then - everything from the chimmney going right has been demolished !


well actually things have moved on a bit and foundations are in and walls are being built ! more later .
Short animal synopsis :-
Veronica has finished her anti biotics , 2 days after finishing she started to dribble again , cue vet , but luckily it appears to be a retained baby tooth which looks like it may come out by itself.
Athena is doing well and even the vet said that he thought that one leg had straightened completely , the other is better . Despite my concerns initially , measurement of the degree of band in each knee shows that she is still within the realms of normal so as the Romans say nil desperandum!
I have a broody hen who has sat for just over 2 and a half weeks - fingers crossed for Tuesday , but my faith in her is not enormous .
I have also lent #3 sons class an incubator with 18 eggs in n, still a week and a half to go , fingers and toes crossed that something hatches !
Thinking about a date for a couple of little piglets to fatten for the freezer , think maybe end of March , early April would be ideal .
Enough for now , I am easing myself back in slowly to the real world !